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DoItYourself Dryer Repair Made Easy: Change the Light in a Whirlpool/Kenmore Dryer

Updated on May 19, 2010

The darkness has won! No light in the dryer!

Click here to review safety.   Click here to identify your Kenmore appliance.   These instructions are meant for a whirlpool Dryer and Whirlpool Products.

The dark forces will eventually win in a dryer.  You have to be brave, persevere, and be able to follow simple instructions in order to beat the forces.

If you want light, you must use some trouble shooting techniques that are only for the brave at heart.   Also, someone who is willing to follow simple instructions.   Awwww, let's face it, any girl scout can do it.

Light Cover in Whirlpool Dryer

Screw down type light cover.
Screw down type light cover.

Be prepared!

If you have a manual, look up the section on change a light bulb in your new dryer. That may save you from reading anymore of this hub. In that case, it was nice knowing you and thanks for looking in my hub.

If you are like me, and you put the manual in a safe place, and now that safe place is as elusive as the golden fleece, you can read on.

You will need to find the access cover to the light. Use a flashlight to see inside the dryer. The light is located in the back, a few inches down from the top of the back panel. The cover is generally a heavy duty plastic disk about 3.5 inches in diameter. The disk is fastened by tabs that are engaged by turning the disk. To disengage the tabs, turn the disk by applying hand pressure to turn it counterclockwise (to the left). It should turn about 1/4 turn and then the disk can be removed. Sometimes these covers are stubborn and you may need to work on it. Caution must be used here because you do not want to damage the cover. Be patient, take your time. Do not force the cover with a tool and for goodness sakes do not pry on will break it.

Alternative cover may be held down with a screw or nut.  Remove the screw and lift the cover.

When you remove the cover, you will reveal a light in a socket. Use a thin towel or rag, grasp the light and rotate it counterclockwise until it is backed out of the socket. Using a light towel will protect your hands in case the light has become damaged or brittle. Use caution and back the light out carefully.

When you have the light out, examine it carefully and replace it with exactly the same light that you removed. Most of these lights can be found at the local hardware store. You can also order them from a parts house. I would get two of them and keep a spare.

Generally speaking, this light will be 40 watts or less. Probably in the 15 watt range. Its physical size will be smaller that a regular light bulb. Caution should be used, replacing the light with a light that is too big or powerful will definitely damage your dryer and may cause a fire hazard.

Master of the Dark Arts!

Now that you have installed the new light, and have become the hero of the hour, the light should function normally.

Check the light cover frequently to be sure it remains in place.

If the light does not operate correctly, check out how to replace a door switch.


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      Robert 16 months ago

      I just read your article for changing the dryer light in a Whirlpool/Kenmore located on the rear of the dryer - my question is: HOW DO I REACH THE BACK OF THE DRYER??

    • profile image

      what the fuck is that. 4 years ago

      My dryer does not have a Phillips screw, but a very annoying hex screw, which does not turn. Do I have to go out buy special tools to change the

      damn bulb, and why did Whirlpool make it so difficult.

    • profile image

      blgJulie61 7 years ago

      Use only special appliance light bulb not a regular one.